Skip to main content

The discovery of "Railway Knitting"

Hi folks! Here's a small adventure that happened to me that I'm gonna tell you about, mainly because it brought me to a really interesting discovery.
Some days ago I received a message on Ravelry from a lady who's made her own Tunisian crochet version of the "Pfeilraupe" scarf. She sent me a picture to show me her work, which was simply stunning: she managed to recreate the exact shape of the knitted one, with marvelous use of short rows, plus in honeycomb stitch, which I love (you can check out her project page here). We exchanged a few messages, and by checking her profile I discovered that I was talking to Dela Wilkins! When the sudden feeling of being a complete idiot for not recognizing her before was gone, I felt (and still feel!) SO privileged: a famous teacher, a published author, took time to write ME about an item we both tried to make in TC.
Wow!!
Well, of course I did some more searching and found that Dela's book on TC, "Railway Knitting Workbook", is available asdigital download on publisher's website and is incredibly cheap! I immediately bought it, read it during the weekend, and let me tell you what I told her: I wish I had found this book when I was learning TC. It's a complete handbook that gives the reader lots of great advice on a technical level, from the ways of making a starting chain on, including tips on shaping, choosing stitches, and such. I found lots of helpful ideas even if I'm not a beginner, so I would really recommend it to anyone interested in TC, but especially if you are an absolute beginner go and buy Dela's book without giving it a second thought. Dela is a teacher, so she knows how to explain things from the start to people who have never hold a hook in their hand before. Also, she's used to having non-native speakers on her train classes, so as she told me she wrote the book in Grade 6 English, very clear and easy to understand even if English is not your main language.

Great, great book that deserves to be known by more and more people!

Oh, and in case you were wondering: "Railway Knitting" is one of the many names used for TC in ancient times, between the 19th and the 20th century, maybe because the look of the Tunisian simple stitch somehow reminds of a railway, maybe because ladies used to work at their items during train trips... nobody knows for certain, as usual when it comes to TC, but it's a fascinating name nonetheless, and since Dela teaches on trains particularly apt for her work.

And since a post without a pic feels somehow incomplete to me, here's a preview of a cowl whose pattern I'm currently writing, named "Pumpkin Skin"...


Comments

  1. The cowl is looking nice ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Un bellissimo colore di filato!!Bacioni

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful story! Thanks for the book link, I must keep this in mind. And I can't wait to see your finished cowl. The color really reminds of pumpkins :-). Hugs, Nata

    ReplyDelete
  4. OOOh thank you Valentina - I've put the book on my Christmas list! Love the autumnal colour of your new cowl.
    Ali x

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

100th post!

Hello everyone! I'm always pretty absent from my blog, I know. The Turn of the Wheel between October and November has brought back my creative inspiration and made it stronger than ever, so I've been incredibly busy with hooks and wools! : )  To celebrate my blog's 100th post I decided to share with you my latest finished project, a stole/scarf I made for Mum as a Xmas gift. I found this wool at a local market and chose the color with my boyfriend, as the gift is meant to be from the both of us. For those of you who may be interested, yarn is "Tosca Light" by Lang Yarns, shade 0048 "Altrosa". Craft on the other hand is once again Tunisian crochet, with whom I'm totally in love, and pattern is called "Sillabub", by great designer MariaGrazia Berno (check out some of  her others here). Since I still think of myself as a newbie regarding this technique I'm incredibly satisfied with its look - and the feel, oh, if I could tell you how sof…

And here's the Dragon! / Ecco il Drago!

Remember the Dragon Tail scarf/shawl I began some time ago? Well, last week I managed to finish it, and I'm oh so proud of it. Not only it's my first Tunisian crochet project, but it also turned out great, big and cosy and oh so soft (this thanks to the lovely yarn Géraldine sent me, Phil Bambou Laine by Phildar). It is 2 m long from tip to tip and 45 cm wide by the last scale, and the last row counts 110 stitches, which are quite a lot... : ) As I already wrote I strongly recommend this if you want to try Tunisian crochet, it's easy, good fun and you get a nice original item to wear. You might find this tutorial by Julia Marquardt helpful, but if you want to get one that's exactly like mine you have to change the pattern a little bit: I followed the instructions by a great designer, MariaGrazia Berno, who modified it a bit in order to obtain a scarf/shawl that curls up more. Her pattern says to increase of two stitches at the end of every row, just before the second-…